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My Critiques of Latin Cuisine at Frank Dining Hall: From the Perspective of a Latina

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

I used to look forward to what they had at Latin Cuisine at Frank Dining Hall, but now all it does is annoy me. Here is my opinion on it now.

It’s the same thing every time

Growing up, I usually only ate Latin food. My parents are both from Brazil and when they made food it was usually Latin food. I found it a little difficult to eat different foods at the dining hall since I was used to Brazilian rice and chicken, until I realized there was a Latin section. I was excited to see what they would have. Over time I would just subconsciously head over there. Then I eventually started to realize that it was the same thing over and over again. It was not the Latin section, but the taco section. Don’t get me wrong, I love tacos, but there could be so much more. Also, even though it’s often just tacos, they’re always running out of toppings. By the time you finish getting your “taco,” it’s a tortilla with chicken and maybe salsa because they ran out of guacamole, lettuce, and pico de gallo.

If it’s not tacos, it’s burgers

I accepted that they were only going to have tacos instead of a different variety of Latin food, so I just gave in and kept eating them. It was the closest I was going to get to the food that I enjoy, and I do genuinely like them. Unfortunately, they don’t always have Latin food at Latin cuisine but instead, have burgers. Maybe there is something wrong with the grill section of Frank on specific days of the week, but why did they choose Latin cuisine? It’s not fair that they decide that Latin food is the least important to be replaced by American food. Unless there is a specific reason for doing so, burgers belong in the grill section, not Latin cuisine.

where is the diversity?

For a university that prides itself in being number one dining, where is the diversity in Latin cuisine? There are over 20 Latin countries, imagine all the different types of food other than tacos. I acknowledge that it is difficult to sometimes find different foods that multiple students would like, but it is possible. I think with a little bit of effort, Latin food could be so much better than it is now. All I did was search for “Latin food” on Google and so many options came up. There are Empanadas, Brazilian rice, Pão de Queijo, Mexican Street Corn, and so much more! I think all we need are: more options and ideas, and the food at the dining hall would be even better.

what I think they should do

Contact Latino chefs! They will be able to help diversify the menu and come up with more options. I’ve seen chefs from different cultures come in and do special nights at the dining halls. I think UMass should do the same but hire some Latino chefs to help with the menu and improve them. Surveys could also be sent around with options of different Latin foods they have come up with to see if students would be interested in them. I also think, unless there is a certain reason, that they should keep burgers in the grill section instead of in the Latin section.

my final opinion…

I want to mention that I understand how this may not seem like a big deal to others, but it is to me. It’s irritating having to go to the dining hall, that’s rated number one, and be able to only eat half of a taco, nothing at all because it was replaced by burgers or pasta. I think the lack of diversity in Latin cuisine, and sometimes the lack of Latin cuisine in general should be acknowledged and tried to be fixed. I love tacos, but I love having options as well!

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Diane Da Silva

U Mass Amherst '26

My name's Diane Da Silva and I'm a sophomore at UMass Amherst majoring in English and Portuguese.